How giving up alcohol benefits your health

July 23, 2021

Giving up alcohol is not just for Dry July. Since 2008, many Australians have decided to stop drinking alcohol in July, otherwise known as Dry July.

Groups like FebFastOcsoberDry January and On The Dry all promote a month of sobriety. The Dry July foundation promotes the fast in support of fundraising for cancer patients.

But — besides the charitable benefit — can a month off alcohol improve our lives?

Here, we look at the facts.

What improves when you stop drinking alcohol?

Quit alcohol for positive effects on the body and brain.

Most people report health benefits following a month off alcohol. In a recent study, more than half the people who quit alcohol for one month:

  • have better sleep
  • have more energy
  • lose weight 
  • have better concentration
  • have better skin

Most people had other improvements, too, like:

  • feeling a sense of achievement
  • saving money
  • feeling more in control of their drinking
  • learning more about when and why they drink
  • realising they don’t need a drink to enjoy themselves

Risks of alcohol

Excessive drinking negatively impacts your health – both in the short-term and the long-term.

Short-term risks

  • Reduced concentration
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Blackouts
  • Intense moods (aggression, elation, depression)
  • Slower reflexes

Long-term risks

  • Irreversible liver, brain or nervous system damage
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased chance of some cancers
  • Disease caused by alcohol, illness or injuries

If you need support to stop drinking or treatment to stop drinking alcohol, you can speak with an InstantScripts GP. They provide discrete, professional and convenient support to anyone looking to improve their relationship with alcohol.

To speak with an InstantScripts GP:

Request Consultation

To request a script:

Find Your Medication

Other groups that can support include:

Try a little less

Excessive drinking vs healthy drinking

Not everyone will want to take a month off alcohol. Some people prefer to reduce the amount they drink, rather than quitting completely. And that’s good, too.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) now advise that it’s safest to limit your intake to:

  • no more than 4 standard drinks per day and
  • no more than 10 per week

The great news is that Australians are already moving toward moderation. The 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report showed that:

  • more Australians are giving up alcohol or reducing their alcohol intake, driven by health concerns 
  • rates of substance use are falling among younger generations (less likely to smoke, drink and use illicit drugs)

Get help to stop drinking

Consult your GP or an organisation like Hello Sunday Morning — you can change your relationship to alcohol, too.

To speak with an InstantScripts GP:

Request Consultation

To request a script:

Find Your Medication
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